SBC defends wage bill after review call

Scottish Borders Council has said, in response to criticism from local MSP John Lamont, that it has cut the number of staff on six-figure salaries since 2011.

Figures released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance revealed that in 2011-12 seven employees received £100,000-plus wages.

Mr Lamont, calling for a review of the salary structure, said: “Many people will look at these huge salaries and rightfully question whether they provide value for money. These wages represent a large amount in SBC’s budget and we cannot simply afford to let them continue unchecked.”

However, David Robertson, the council’s chief financial officer, said that as of March 2012 just four staff were earning over £100,000. He added that the salaries were set with reference to national agreements and reflected scale of responsibility.

SBC leader David Parker said: “It is unfair for figures published by the TaxPayers’ Alliance to be misinterpreted in this way, especially when we continue to put SBC in a good financial position despite the decrease in funding and ongoing challenges we are faced with. This includes reducing the number of senior staff in the council year-on-year.”